Major hostilities of World War I ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the time at which the Armistice with Germany was signed. Along with Europe, the United States originally observed Armistice Day, remembering those who died in the “war to end all wars.” Turns out, it didn’t end all wars. Along came another world war (enough already, Germany — you had your chance!) and then another war (Korean War) and Armistice Day evolved in 1954 into Veterans Day. Congress, and our veterans, realized that we’d be better off creating a day to remember American veterans of all wars, since these wars just seemed to keep on coming.
While Memorial Day celebrates our veterans who died while serving, Veterans Day celebrates all U.S. military veterans.